Crowley Maritime Corporation has launched its latest heavy-lift series deck barge, the 455-4, at Gunderson Marine Shipyard in Portland, US.

The flat-bottom boat, measuring 400ft long and 105ft wide, will ship a Parker Drilling Rig as its first consignment, followed by an assignment for the world’s largest land-based rig in Alaska’s North Slope at Satellite Drilling Island (SDI).

The barge offers the capacity and deck strength to accommodate larger drilling and production units, used for deepwater offshore energy exploration and development.

In addition, Crowley will receive two newly-designed shallow draft tugs, Sesok and Nachik, and a new 185,000-barrel Articulated Tug Barge (ATB).

Gunderson Marine Shipyard will deliver the barge to Crowley by May 2009. The company is also planning to build up to 13 high-capacity barges by 2013.